Posted by Paddy Rooney on Aug 16, 2019

Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.

The fourth in a series of brief reflections on the Rotary International Vision Statement
Where people unite
For those of us who live in the United States, even if some like me are not citizens, the phrase E Pluribus Unum is one that is easily recognizable and just as easily understood “out of many, one.” This nation, formed and shaped by its magnificent diversity, by its competing interests and by its rugged individualism, became one nation – The United States of America. The Articles of Confederation (actually drafted within the boundaries of our current District, first at Lancaster and then in York) were the means by which the Congress expressed its desire to unite the various interests of the States and form “a more perfect Union.”
But this word “Unite” is used in so many other ways. We speak of two people being united in marriage; we talk of different political entities uniting to form a coalition; and we sing and write of how people will unite to make a better world.
That is what Rotarians do when we unite in this common cause called Service Above Self. We come with our varied interests, activities and concerns. We come with different perspectives, opinions and beliefs. We come from our vastly different backgrounds and experiences and intentionally unite in a common goal and a shared objective. To unite then is to become one, not losing our identity or our distinction, but united nonetheless in a shared understanding and goal. It is not always clean cut; indeed sometimes it is pretty messy…perhaps that’s the reason why the Latin word for unite has 51 distinct definitions, including the various conjugations of the verb. But whatever the definition or word which is used, the result is the same - we are united, in our clubs, in our communities and around the world. We are Rotary united in common purpose and service, with shared goals and ideals and, just like that early Continental Congress which sought to bring the States together in one union, we stand as an example for our world today of what it means to be united.